When the Prime Minister was about to present a report on sexual harassment, bullying and assault in Parliament and its districts on Tuesday, his deputy warned his colleagues to be careful about getting drunk in public if their pictures are in the newspaper
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce urged Coalition MPs to watch out for each other during the end of the year celebrations and not to undermine the government’s response to a report by Commissioner for Gender Discrimination, Kate Jenkins, entitled “Set the Standard” . He urged them to read it.
At their weekly party meeting, Joyce reminded them of the risks of the traditionally festive last week of parliament of the year. He suggested that they couldn’t let go any longer and assume that they would be protected from scrutiny.
Joyce said anyone who was now able to take pictures and send them anywhere was going to have to go with anyone be careful. Your behavior is “very, very important”, especially with regard to the Jenkins report.
Joyce urged his colleagues to take care of their buddies, and if they were drunk: “Don’t just call them a taxi , put her in a cab. “
The warning came during another turbulent week for the government. Education Secretary Alan Tudge has been relieved of his cabinet post and faces an investigation into allegations of abuse by former media advisor Rachelle Miller, with whom he had an extramarital affair. Tudge denies the allegations.
During the week, former Attorney General Christian Porter announced that he would be leaving politics in next year’s elections. Porter has faced historical rape allegations, which he also denies, of a woman who committed suicide before they could be investigated.
Both men were on an ABC Four Corners program last year with the title To see “Inside the Canberra Bubble”, which discussed issues related to the nighttime drinking culture in federal politics, the alleged behavior of some politicians and the treatment of staff.
Jenkins’ report, presented to Parliament on Tuesday, confirmed a deep one rooted problem in the Commonwealth’s parliamentary workplaces and recommended changes, including alcohol use in Parliament Buildings. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the results were “appalling and worrying”. “I wish I found it more surprising,” he said.
In addition to proposed changes to employment structures, measures to promote diversity, new codes of conduct and an independent parliamentary standards commission that could impose sanctions, Jenkins recommends that more emphasis be placed on respect place. This should apply to both the dealings with staff and the conduct of politicians in Parliament.
It turns out that Scott Morrison removed important references to respect when he reformulated the Minister’s Code of Conduct when he became Prime Minister in 2018 .
He maintained the ban on ministers from having sex with their co-workers introduced by his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull after revelations that Barnaby Joyce was having an extramarital affair with his then media advisor and now partner Vicki Campion, who was with was pregnant with his child.
Turnbull’s foreword had emphasized that ministers should always behave with integrity and respect in their personal relationships with others, and particularly with their staff, the staff of other ministers or members of the Australian public service.
Nor does his more general preface repeat Turnbull’s emphasis on personal conduct and decency d and omits a Turnbull statement that ministers should be “very aware” of the sacrifices their spouses and children make in support of their political careers and that they deserve “honor and respect”. .
Turnbull highlights and comments on the changes in an updated preface to a newly published edition of his memoir A Bigger Picture and curiously calls it “for such a public father”.
A spokesman for Morrison noted that the ministerial incidents allegedly according to Turnbull’s ministerial standards.
The Morrison government has set up a parliamentary workplace support service, an independent complaints mechanism, a 24-hour hotline and workplace training that “didn’t exist before,” said the spokesman.
“The government will now work constructively with MPs from across the political spectrum to make the changes we need to ensure our workplaces are safe, supportive and respectful.”
Morrison said the government will take into account the 28 recommendations of the Jenkins report, but has decided I am under no obligation to fully implement them.
The report found that one in three people who worked in the Parliament building and its districts had experienced sexual harassment. It found that 51 percent had experienced at least one incident of bullying, harassment, or actual or attempted sexual assault, and more than three quarters had either experienced or witnessed it.
Based on a survey, it was estimated that around 1 Percent of the approximately 3,000 people who work in the Parliament building were victims of actual or attempted rape or sexual assault.
The report contained harrowing stories collected from more than 900 people – parliamentarians, their staff and others who worked in the Buildings work, including in administration, transportation, hospitality, security and the media.
Among many incidents, it described a university student and part-time MP who walked into a politician’s office and she was completely naked Assistants greeted as if it were completely normal.
Another politician is supposed to be at a party Hand raised in a woman’s skirt trying to kiss her. Separately, someone else had seen a colleague shovel an employee’s hand down his pants.
The review revealed that the victims were mostly women. It found that 63 percent of female MPs had experienced harassment, compared with 24 percent of their male counterparts.
Within hours of the report’s release, Parliament was in an uproar over disrespectful behavior, with Liberal Senator David Van was accused of making dog-like growling noises when Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie spoke. Van denied that he had growled, but apologized for making a noise.
On Wednesday evening, Green Senator Lidia Thorpe also apologized in Parliament after she insulted liberal Senator Hollie Hughes with sexualized slander . Thorpe exclaimed during an argument with Hughes, “At least I keep my legs closed.” Thorpe’s colleague Sarah Hanson-Young has been subjected to such abuse, calling it “slut shaming.”
The Jenkins review was commissioned after former government adviser Brittany Higgins claimed earlier this year that she was in a ministerial office in 2019 raped in parliament building. Another former consultant, Bruce Lehrmann, was charged with the alleged incident.
Higgins, now visiting scholar at the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at the Australian National University, welcomed the Jenkins review.
“I want the many “Thank you brave people who shared their stories that contributed to this review,” she said. “I hope that all sides of politics not only commit to but fully implement these recommendations.”
The day after the report was published, Morrison urged Secretary Alan Tudge to step aside and ordered an investigation into after Rachelle Miller made detailed abuse allegations against him.
On Thursday, Miller made a lengthy public statement describing what she considered emotionally and once physically abused during an affair she had previously described as consensual, however now referred to as “more complicated”.
Miller is in mediation after citing civil proceedings against Tudge and Attorney General Michaelia Cash earlier this year for alleged workplace harassment. She first announced the affair last year on the ABC Four Corners program.
“I was so ashamed, so humiliated, so scared, so exhausted,” she said on Thursday. “I told the small part of my story that I could handle.” Decided to go further this week, she described an incident where she claimed Tudge had her partying while on a work trip to Western Australia Night persuaded.
She said she woke up naked in his hotel room early in the morning and couldn’t remember what happened. She claimed he told her to “damn” get out of bed and physically kicked her on the floor because her ringing phone was bothering him.
“I was completely under his control,” she said. “He… [created] an isolation bubble around me that took me away from all my family and friends. The bullying, intimidation, harassment that I experienced working with him destroyed all of my confidence in my abilities. I didn’t think I could find a job anywhere else. “
In a written statement, Alan Tudge said,” I completely and completely reject Ms. Miller’s version of events. “
” I will both myself and myself. ” provide all materials and cooperate in every way, “he said.
Morrison told Parliament that the issue was” deeply troubling “to Miller, the minister and their families, and that the serious claims were” fair and expeditious ” would have to be resolved. He had asked his department to set up “an independent and fair” investigation to be conducted by former high-ranking official and intelligence expert, Dr. Vivienne Thom is directed.
“It’s never been about that,” she says. “I still feel sorry for him sometimes. The point is to make sure that no one else goes through this again in this workplace. It’s about changing a system that makes this possible. We shouldn’t have to fight. We don’t have a fight anymore. Why is it up to the survivors to fight for change? “
This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on. released
December 4th, 2021 as “Exclusive: Joyce Schnapswarnung”.
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